Our phantom threads are bullets. There we were at your every Gettysburg. Liken yours to your country’s bloodiest.
You hardly fault Plath for calling herself Lazarus and a victim of the Holocaust. Lo and behold: what’s left of your North, your South, your slavery. Climb us
for a better look. My, you’re out of touch. It cannot be ancient history if, still, so many of us stand and your musket-
fire is a nine-step procedure. You say no continuity between tourists and soldiers, you and them. Or is it you now and you then?
Wise up. You needn’t have lost a leg to a cannonball. Just listen to your witness trees. Never mind that few of us are literal trees—none as predictable as “witnesses
for Christ.” Listen: a paroxysm of wind attacks our leaves and branches to say, “History, first of all, isn’t history.”
Nathanael Tagg is the author of Animal Virtue (WordTech Editions 2018) and an associate professor of English at Cecil College. His writing appears in Colorado Review, Barrow Street, Cimarron Review, and elsewhere. Learn more at www.nathanaeltagg.com.
Header photo by Carlos Amarillo, courtesy Shutterstock. Photo of Nathanael Tagg by Richard Waine.